Saturday, November 1, 2008

Bring plates back: Issue discussed at 10/29 RSA meeting

Referencing Tom's post Chartwells: Desperate for Dishes?, I thought I'd post the audio from the October 29th RSA meeting where Jo Ann Hermanek, Residence Hall Director and RSA Advisor, discusses the issue. Residents at the meeting bring up their thoughts on the issue as well. It looks like Chartwells wants to make more of an effort to make sure plates are returned.

Happy Birthday Fr. Sam!

Founder's Day will be November 5, 2008 in celebration of Fr. Samuel Mazzucchelli's 202nd birthday!

Michael Meranda, a graduate student at Dominican, informed me a little about Mazzucchelli's life. "Father Sam Mazzucchelli was born in Milan, Italy on November 4, 1806. He came from a very wealthy family in Italy to absolutely nothing in America. He wanted to live in America to help and educate people. He helped French Fur Trappers, Native Americans, and Italian immigrants. He also recruited many Italians to move to America so he could educate them. Father Sam helped open schools and gave everyone an opportunity to be educated. In 1847 he established the Sinsinawa Dominicans which established St. Clara Academy, to Rosary College, to Dominican University. We are basically honoring all of his achievements and all that he has done to make our world better today," Meranda said.

On November 5 there will be a prayer service at 5:00 p.m. and at 5:30 p.m. there will be an Italian dinner. All members of the Dominican community are invited.

Security on Campus

After the tragedies that occured during Virginia Tech and at Northern Illinois University, I think that campus safety is extremely important. Student security officers who make up probably make up more than half of Dominican's security, do the best job that they can. However, if there was an emergency, would our secuirty system be effective? My friend at Elmhurst College informed me that Elmhurst police work security. Even in the dorms, police officers wander the campus to make sure everything is safe. Yesterday I noticed a River Forest police officer sitting in front of Parmer which I thought was good. I believe our security is as good as it can be, but maybe more professional police officers should be on campus.

What do you think?

Friday, October 31, 2008

CSA Haunted Tours: Photos

I went to Commuter Student Association's Haunted Tours that took place Thursday from 7 PM to 1 AM. I came a little after 9 PM to check it out. It was the first time that I went to this event - and while I thought going on the actual tour was the highlight of my experience, it was fun to see some of the costumes.

I also have video of Haunted Tour highlights (I went on the 11:20 P.M. tour), but I'll put the video clips in another post to divide things up.

Junior Cecilia Tobias dressed up as a "mental institution escapee."

Senior Anne Marie Barrett is dressed up as a robot or the Tin Man (from Wizard of Oz) - it's up to interpretation. Though the following night on Halloween, she was the Tin Man due to a plan among friends to dress up as different Wizard of Oz characters (Dorothy, Glinda the Good Witch of the North, Wicked Witch of the West) for Trick-or-Treating in River Forest.

Junior Megan Frankenbach, a member of DASH (stands for Domestic Abuse Stops Here), sits at the DASH table in her Pink Lady costume. DASH was one of the co-sponsors of Haunted Tours and had their own table for people to stop at during the event.

Front view of Frankenbach's Pink Lady costume.

Group of students at the Tour Registration table. Freshman Teresa Sadofsky (far right) dressed up as "The Joker", which was one of the more interesting costumes I saw during my time there.

Freshman Keila Marie Cruz dressed up as the "Twilight" (popular book series by Stephenie Meyer) character, Isabella Marie Swan Cullen or Bella. The back says "Team Edward: Because Jacob doesn't sparkle". Though this costume isn't as involved as the others, everyone seems to be talking about the Twilight books. This just shows how popular it is...

Throughout the tour I went on, a person dressed in the Scream costume (seen here on the steps in the Fine Arts building) wandered around outside and sometimes followed the tour group inside. The Scream person was true-to-form creepy and only made noises though the person was mostly silent and snuck around. I had a hard time getting a picture of the person because they kept running off.
Camera-shy outside of Lewis Hall.

Scream lies down face first on the floor at the Lewis entrance. The person put their head down before I could get a good shot. This is after I got a shot of Scream outside of Lewis...

Bon Villa Resident is Forced to Find New Home for Feline Friends

Halloween is supposed to be a day of fun-filled activities. People dress in costumes for fun and even to act as someone else...possibly masking their problems for the day or night. This Halloween is the opposite for Michelle Behnke and her roommate, Tiffany Albert. Behnke and Albert are DU student currently residing in the off-campus housing option, the Bon Villa. As I posted Monday, the girls are being forced to give up their kittens due to DU's policy on animals in residence locations. By 3:00 this afternoon, the kittens must be out of their apartment or the girls will face circumstances....possible eviction.

I spoke with Behnke yesterday and met her feline friends, Bleeker and Mabel. The kittens are adorable and have lived with the girls for two months. When the kittens entered their home, they only weighed 8 oz., Behnke said. Now they're about 3 lbs., cuter than ever and are heart-breakers....literally. Behnke said the cats will move into their new home later this afternoon. A neighbor in Behnke's home town will be fostering the kittens until Behnke can either break her lease with DU or move out in spring.

Behnke and the affectionate Mabel.

When we spoke yesterday, Behnke revealed the situation at hand and how she feels about it. In this video, you'll learn more and get the chance to meet her kittens.

I'm a total animal lover and have a furry friend of my own, Romeo. I can not imagine being forced to send my pup to live with someone else for the time being.

My pomeranian, Romeo, 1 year-old.

Chartwells: Desperate for Dishes?

An interesting post on myDU has shed light on a utensil crisis on campus. Chartwells is apparently running so low on dishes, they will now pick them up for you, should you wish to carry out your food to another dining venue on campus. Even if that venue happens to be the Residence Halls.

"Designated boxes" will supposedly allow students to just deposit dishes they've technically stolen in a convenient pick-up spot for some poor Chartwells employee to pick up twice a week. When I was a resident student two years ago, under the reign of ARAMARK, Dominican's previous food service provider, students still stole dishes from the dining hall. These would mostly end up as decorations for the tops of refuse containers at various points across campus. Those caught by the staff with these contraband dishes would surely be harassed by ARAMARK or (occasionally) a random Residence Life employee.

This is quite the interesting concept, a dishes pick-up on campus. I wonder if the same program has been put to use on other campuses serviced by Chartwells? I also wonder if students are actually going to pitch in and take their dishes to these drop-off points, instead of simply dumping their used and refused dishes at their nearest garbage can.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

No news

I talked with Jo Ann Hermanek, a Residence Hall Director and Advisor to RSA, about there being no more copies of the Chicago Tribune or the Red Eye available in the Coughlin Commons or outside of the Library.

While last year, residents had access to free copies of the Chicago Tribune three to four days a week (down from daily in previous years); Residence Life can't cover the cost anymore. The price to have this distribution has increased as we're living in bad economic times and the Tribune (as well as other newspapers) has to make a buck somewhere.

The school hasn't been contacted by the Chicago Tribune this year according to Hermanek and she is not sure who oversaw the Red Eye distribution. She believes that someone from the Chicago Tribune just distributed copies of the Red Eye as well since it is a free newspaper and (judging from what I recall in previous years) a popular newspaper for students at Dominican.

Residence Life used to have a partnership with different academic departments on campus (where the professors required students to read the newspaper) to help cover the distribution cost. This is not the case anymore.

I know quite a few of my friends enjoyed reading the Red Eye, so it's sad to see that gone. The empty Red Eye news rack outside of the Library is a sign of the loss... Hermanek says that she knows students "really miss the Red Eye a lot" but it's all about money, money, money.

Dominican Magazine Online

Semiannually students, staff, faculty, and alumni receive the Dominican University Magazine in the mail. I personally really enjoy reading this publication because it gives a different look into the university that I normally wouldn't get. It sometimes profiles a specific student or event, but always gives alumni and faculty news as well as an "In Sympathy" section for the people we have lost in the past year.

I originally wanted to blog about how the Fall 2008 magazine is dedicated to the Arts. It is called "How the Arts and Humanities Shape Us." I really enjoyed this focus on the Arts because they have not been given much attention with the recent addition of Parmer Hall.

However, I decided to change my focus because I did some research of the magazine and found out it is online. It is not only available to download as a PDF, but is set up as a normal news website. If I had known this I would have been on the site reading the articles online instead.

With this new spirit of online journalism I was really excited to see this. I am debating if I should group the Dominican Magazine as journalism, though, because it is a publication created by university employees, so the opinions and writing styles can be bias. I think this would be considered more of a marketing or public relations piece.

Nevertheless, after all of the news website critiques we have done in class I think this is a pretty good site, considering the material they have to work with. It is well laid out, easy to navigate, and contains all necessary information. I give credit to the wonderful people in the OMC. I just wish I would have know this existed.

If you have not seen the current edition of the magazine, it can be found at the Dominican Magazine Online website, which is connected to Dominican's homepage.

Photo taken from

Second Annual Blood Drive hosted by CIAO

Today, CIAO, Dominican University's Italian Organization, hosted it's second annual blood drive in the Springer Suite. CIAO partnered with Heartland Blood Centers in an effort to encourage the Dominican community to donate much-needed blood supplies. Although some students refrain from giving blood due to medical conditions or Belonephobia (fear of needles), others were more than willing to participate today.

CIAO member, Joe Bonasera, said, "It's a great way to help people in need. I think helping the community is always the right thing to do."

As you learn in this video, Michael Meranda, former 2004-2007 president of CIAO, explains why this organization hosts the blood drive.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The relationship between Dominican and ELS students...or lack thereof

Students enrolled in Calabrese's global communication class are required to spend a certain number of hours with the ELS students. The students can go out to eat, see a movie or anything else, as long as the two groups are hanging out. Sounds like easy homework, doesn't it?

ELS director, Lee Fair really appreciates efforts like these that help ELS students interact with Dominican students. Because otherwise, the interaction is limited.

"It's not anyone's fault," Fair said, "but the opportunity just doesn't arise on its own. Sometimes it has to be forced."

I wish I could confindently say that Dominican, as a whole, is inclusive of the ELS students, but I haven't even met a single ELS student since I've been here. When I interviewed Fair a few weeks back, he showed me a calender full of events planned for the ELS students. Dominican students are invited to their events, but no one really knows about them. And it works both ways; they are invited to our events, but they don't know much about them either.

Yeah, they are eight blocks away at the Priory campus. So? I wish there were more opportunities for Dominican students to interact with them. I think it could be good for both parties. And I think many DU students would be interested in doing so. But other than a few classes, like global communications, not much is being done to get the two groups together.

"I sometimes feel more removed than I want to be," said Fair.

Resource Desk Halloween Spirit

Here is an interview with two of the desk workers from the Coughlin Commons Resource Desk with some, well, interesting apparel.

Life of a commuter

I understand why the administration stopped the hourly runs to the CTA Green Line stop at Harlem Ave. and Lake St., but now that temperatures are dropping, I wish they hadn't.

As a commuter student who lives in Chicago, I've always driven myself to class and enjoyed the luxury of leaving my house about 20 minutes before start time. Sadly, recent circumstances have prevented me from being able to drive my car until mid-December, so I've been a CTA trekkie for the last few weeks. While Dominican University is public transportation accessible, it's still not the easiest journey.

I take the Pink Line and backtrack toward the loop to connect to the Green Line at Ashland. Then I take the Green Line to Harlem, which takes about 18 minutes.


From there, the 90 Harlem North Bus goes to Harlem and Division, and I hopefully can catch the shuttle leaving from the Priory at :45 or :15 of the hour.

Usually it works out, but sometimes the pink-green connection takes over 10 minutes. Or you wait for the Harlem north buses for 15 minutes. Or you miss the Priory-Main Campus shuttle...which is the most important connection to make lest you have a 20-minute, 8-block walk to the Main Campus. All these little things add annoying delays. To travel the 10 miles from my house to school, I have an hour commute vs. a 20-minute one. It certainly requires a different level of planning, but if only the Dominican shuttle would run to Harlem and Lake during the day as well, it would make a huge difference for commuter students.

Video footage from Open Forum #2

Dean of Students Trudi Goggin addresses the University's response in the wake of the recent hate graffitti discovered at the Priory a few weeks ago.

Averno, other local artists to perform at Dominican

It's coming up! Dominican's Sounds Society will be hosting its second annual Fall Rock Fest on Saturday, November 8 at 6 p.m. in the Priory Auditorium. Tickets are $3 for students, and $4 for non-students. You can't beat $3 for six bands AND free pizza and drinks!

The artists on the bill are Averno, Fotosputnik, Before the Storm, Bright Light Brigade, Tonight the Prom and Anemic Annie.

Shane Wirkes, the artist behind Averno, is actually not a Dominican student, but an alum of University of Illinois' school of music composition in Urbana-Champaign.
Shane was the vocalist and songwriter of the popular, far-reaching Chicago band called Until Sundown, until a couple years ago when the band decided to fold.


Two of his bandmates went on to form Pete Wentz' Decaydence Records' band The Hush Sound, while Shane studied music composition at U of I and performed in other bands: Kristov's Agenda and The Sugar Gliders. In addition, he collaborated with a number of hip-hop artists, fusing musical genres and touring the United States. Quite the versatile musician, in addition to singing, he also plays nearly every instrument. Or at least eight. Shane performs at least weekly in the Chicagoland area. Whether acoustic or electric, originals or covers, when Shane sings, people listen.


In addition to his musical performance abilities, he composes not only for rock band instruments, but orchestral and string music. One such composition, "String Quartet no. 2," can also be found on the Averno myspace page. Influenced by a number of artists, including Radiohead, Arvo Part, Sigur Ros, Interpol, Elliot Smith, and the Beatles, it's hard to describe his style. Those who like bands in the vein of Radiohead, or music that is different from the mainstream norm and incorporates traditional (or non-traditional!) instruments with electronics, will enjoy the music of Averno.

The Averno myspace page has a four-song sampling of Shane's music, but I will say that it is only a small glimpse of the diverse, wide-ranging style of the artists' creations, and his page has not been updated in some tme.

This is a music video from his page. It's slightly haunting.

Even if that video freaked you out, I can promise you will enjoy his live performance.

I have a limited number of tickets for sale, so if you are interested you may contact me at In addition, the Sounds Society will be selling tickets and previewing all the artists' music in Lewis Hall until we sell out.

Support your local artists!

Some footage from the Open Forum

RCAS Dean Jeff Carlson answers a student question about class sizes and availability, one of many issues discussed at today's open forum held in the Springer Suites.

Two more interesting videos from this event will be posted later today, so check back in periodically to see what you might have missed!

Open Forum

Photo source:

I attended Campus Climate's Open Forum this afternoon just to see what it was all about. I haven't gone to these open forums before and now I feel that it would have been a beneficial event to attend. Now I'm not sure if Campus Climate does this annually, but a good number of students were present in the Springer Suites, where the event took place.

I was only there for the last half hour. The Q & A between the panel and students was worth listening to for anyone interested in current university issues and plans for Dominican's future.

The panel consisted of Dean Jeff Carlson, President Donna Carroll, Dean of Students Trudi Goggin, Senior Vice President for Administration Amy McCormack and University Controller Dick Walstra. McCormack discussed the campus master plan and the hope to have a student center which she called "the heart of campus." It will be three floors and a sitting and gathering area for students. The Grill, which is more the Non-Grill when it was taken out as a food service last year, will be renovated and redecorated. Though it is clear that the renovation of the Grill is a gradual work in progress.

Also, what I found interesting was the discussion of what to do with the pool that probably was last used when I was a freshman. Or maybe even before then. I never swam there, so I don't know for sure. Trudi Goggin said that they plan "to redefine the space that has the pool" and possibly use it as a recreational space for activities like dance and intramurals.

I've seen the dance team practice in the Social Hall or more recently, in the gym while basketball practice was going on as well. I think it would be great to use the space where the pool is now for recreational activities.

McCormack said that she looks at first what has a payback - where they can save the most money with the projects they decide for the university. It is also important to "do things that serve the most amount of students" according to McCormack. It doesn't mean that other projects that don't target a large group of students will be ignored; it's just about setting up priorities.

I thought this made sense - since after all, would you want to spend a lot of money on something that only benefits a select few?

Overall, I found the Open Forum informative. If there is another similar event this school year, I hope to be there longer to get a wider scope of the issues brought forward.

Día de los Muertos

This week, the Ministry Center is asking for pictures of loved ones who have past in order to celebrate and remember them for the communion of saints. This is a tradition with roots in several cultures. In several Hispanic countries, specifically Mexico, it is called Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead. This day is about remembering loved ones and celebrating their lives. Above is a picture of traditional sugar skulls from Mexico that are decorated for the occassion.

I know in years past, OLA, the Organization of Latin American students, or the foreign language department has sponsored a traditional Día de los Muertos ceremony in the chapel. I went my freshman year and really enjoyed learning about the tradition and other cultures.

I haven't heard or read anything about a similar event this year. Dominican has a strong Hispanic presence and think a lot of the school would enjoy it. Has anyone else heard any word about a Día de los Muertos celebration?

Image from the

Recycling?: Not so much

Yesterday at lunch, some of my friends got into discussing recycling on campus. It started with a startling comment by one person who said she saw for herself that they put all of the garbage in one bag. No matter what the trash - unrecyclable waste or water bottles - it all goes in the same dumpster. Though Dominican has recycling bins with labels for what type of waste you should put in each (paper, plastic/glass); it may just be a futile effort for those who recycle.

Recycling on campus has been a recurring news story in the school newspaper, the Dominican Star, for years; but has anything really be done about recycling on campus?

Now there is a chance that the garbage is being separated later on after it is picked up by the garbage truck; but how can we know for sure? By how it looks now, I feel like my recycling efforts are in vain.

Diversity: An Observation

When trying to think of something to write my first Diversity at Dominican post for DominiNET, I was at a loss. Most of my colleagues had already covered diversity on campus so well in their posts, I thought I would have nothing new to contribute. Maybe I was right.

Dominican prides itself on being a diverse campus. And for the most part, it is. I'm not questioning that aspect of our community. I see all different kinds of people here and all sorts of lifestyles. But as I've seen from some of what my colleagues post on this blog and what many people I know have pointed out to me, there is diversity, only in small portions.

There are several groups that play into diversity here: OLA, Black Student Union, and Italian Club just to name a few. And they all have an active presence on campus. These groups offer lots of great activities and events as well. People from other social or ethnic groups aren't very involved in some groups (although I'm not saying there's a total lack of involvement in groups like these from people of other ethnic or social backgrounds). But our community is a small one. And while many of the groups are relatively small and somewhat isolated in terms of the backgrounds of their members, they are still there. There is a diverse population here, but it is a small one. While white, upper-middle-class students are one of the bigger groups, just about every other ethnic group of students at Dominican is represented and has a presence on campus.

I know people who say "Dominican isn't very diverse, there's just a bunch of white kids, some Latinos, and some black and Asian kids randomly spread among everyone. Dominican's not very diverse." Ok, but aren't those other non-white ethnic groups still there nonetheless? The relatively small numbers of these groups doesn't mean that Dominican is any less diverse.

Multiethnicity: the best of both worlds

Christina Perez, professor of sociology and director of women's studies at Dominican, spoke to my global communications class this evening about growing up in Oak Park in a multicultural family raised by her Irish and German mother and Mexican father. "My parents gave us the best of both worlds," she told us. "I didn't consider myself either Mexican or German; I was both."

As a young girl, she faced adversity in the exclusively white neighborhoods of Chippewa Falls, WI, where her mother's side of the family lived. Perez said that the feeling of being ostracized was hard for her to comprehend because her parents had never discussed racial issues; she had no concept of "other;" people were just people. In high school she celebrated St. Patrick's Day as a true blue (green?) Irish girl, and she just as eagerly embraced her Mexican heritage. Her father, who had struggled to learn English in his youth, did not speak Spanish in the home, and Perez didn't learn the language until she was in her early 20s. However, she did say that she felt more identified with her Mexican relatives because she was more embraced and accepted with them.

I always find it interesting to hear about people who grew up in multicultural or biracial homes. Do the kids lean more heavily toward one side or another? Do biracial children identify more with one side?

Junior Tiffany Gramarossa, who is half Italian and half Puerto Rican, says that she agrees with Perez that being multicultural gives one the "best of both worlds," but also felt some contention from a couple of her Italian relatives who could not reconcile the fact that her father had married a Puerto Rican.

I've heard that individuals who are half black and half white often identify strongly with one side or another of their mixed heritage (usually the black side by virtue of the one-drop rule), but it's also entirely possible (but probably less likely) that they have the same affinity for both sides.

This also reminds me of Presidential candidate Barack Obama's circumstances. His mother was white and his father Kenyan. The one-drop rule, which is almost exclusively an American concept, says that Obama is black, but I'm interested to know how he balances his multiethnic heritage. I should also probably read The Audacity of Hope and Dreams of My Father; I believe he addresses those issues growing up. People seem to forget that Obama is just as white as he is black--but the one-drop rule causes us to call him the "first black Presidential candidate." It's fine, because he is black, but it's still...interesting.

Seminar: I'm into it.

Many people question the usefulness of Dominican's required seminar courses, as evidenced by previous blogs and the campus voice section of the Star. Yes, on the surface they may feel like a drag to most people. However, I believe if you take a closer look, they are highly relevant to our lives.

This semester I'm enrolled in Professor Quentin Kossnar's seminar: Ethics and Poetical Action. Out of the plethora of selections, I chose this particular course because it said we'd be reading works from Aristotle, Plato, Sophocles, Dostoevsky, as well as Frankenstein, an excerpt from Flow, and short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

The course description asked: What is the relation between ethics and poetics: the imitative art of story telling? What role do stories play in how we view ourselves and in how we conduct ourselves in society? That's what drew me in--being able to apply these readings to my life.

First off, I'm a complete book nerd and especially have a deep affinity for Sophocles and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Reading stories is a big part of my life, but I feel that the way in which we examine these stories in the seminar class really gives them more meaning for me.

I'd never really been big into philosophy (although at all three colleges I've attended, I've taken MORE than enough courses in that area), but I've discovered a true passion for it this semester after examining Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Poetics.

A couple years ago, you couldn't have convinced me that I'd be seriously into reading philosophy, but several courses I've taken here at Dominican, including Dean Carlson's Mystery of God course (which I highly recommend) have sparked a genuine interest in me.

I feel that through our seminar classes, which are geared toward the general state of our lives in a particular year of college, are so beneficial. Last year's junior seminar had us examine work, and explore our career options. This year, we're focusing on what it means to live "the best life" and how work and virtue are interconnected. The stories we read examine the human condition, and I think especially as a senior with so many experiences thus far that test character, it's important to have a ground understanding of the things that truly matter in life and know how to handle life's obstacles.

The coursework, essays, and readings are not only pertinent to our lives, but there are common themes in all that we've read that you may only discover through a classroom discussion setting.

Instead of questioning the validity of seminars, I suggest putting that energy into getting the most out of them and applying them to your life. These professors and administrators make us take these classes for a reason, and if you truly utilize this "mandatory opportunity," you will be all the more better for it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Coughlin 2 Showers

Apparently, it's not just Power and Mazz showers that are having issues. While, yes, Mazzuchelli is not known for having the best showers, as Megan's post can attest too.

Well, Coughlin 2 is not doing much better. Our shower pressure is amazing and I have no complaints there. The mold, well, maybe we can work on that.

It looks like thery haven't been cleaned in quite some time, which is ridiculous, because the bathroom is supposed to cleaned everyday. I guess this mold was just overlooked....gross.

"Drunk Sex or Date Rape"

Like Natalie, I too attended the presentation called "Drunk Sex or Date Rape: Can you tell the difference?". All athletes were required to attend and there was also a strong presence from other organizations on campus. The speaker, surprisingly enough, was Dominican's attorney, Brett Sokolow. Sokolow described a case between two college aged individuals and their night or partying and sexual intimacy. The audience was able to ask questions about the case and eventaully vote on whether or not we thought it was rape or consentual sex.

I thought that the event had a great turn out and the audience was very involved. It brought up a lot of tricky questions about the topic and made students realize that there is a lot at stake in a situation like that. Sokolow was an engaging speaker with good points that made us think.

A topic like this can be sticky in an institution like Dominican. I'm glad that the school decided to bring this speaker in because it is something that needs to be disscussed and not hidden.

Are time management workshops a waste of time?

I noticed on the myDU webpage that Dominican has been offering a series of student success workshops throughout the semester. The first two, "Reading and Note Taking" and "Time Management", took place on September 16 and 17 and October 14 and 15, respectively. The third is titled "Finish with a Flourish" and will take place on November 4 and 5 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in Parmer 005.

I'm wondering if these workshops are actually beneficial to students?

"I think that time management workshops are a good idea," said sophomore Rick Boyte, "however I feel you have to know how to manage your time in order to go to them. It's kind of contradicting."

Senior Ryan Halbig went to a set of these workshops in the spring of 2007. "The idea behind it is really good, and the implementation is well thought out and well planned, however I felt like a lot of students were there because they had to be," he said. "It did actually help though. I started scheduling a little more. But it depends on the individual student."

On a more personal level, I'm a full time student, I work two jobs and I'm also involved in extra-curriculars on campus. I'm a busy girl! If I find myself with an extra hour during the day where I have nothing to do, I'm not going to lie, I'd opt for a nap rather than a success workshop. But that's just me.

Maybe these workshops are beneficial. Maybe there are students out there who, like Halbig, have benefited from them and will use the skills they have learned, not only in college but for the rest of their lives. But maybe not.

Your thoughts, opinions, and/or personal experiences would be appreciated.

New Fitness Center...Not for Everyone?

I have heard from a student that the Fitness Center is refusing to give certain equipment to non-athlete students. This student told me that he wanted to use a medicine ball. The person working in the Fitness Center asked if he was an athlete. When this student said no, he was not allowed to use that piece of equipment. This doesn't seem right to me. The University is very proud of this new Fitness Center. They even use it as one of their selling points to incoming freshmen. How will those freshmen like it when they find out everything in the Fitness Center is not available to them? I definitely plan on looking into this and finding out what exactly is going on with the Fitness Center.

Scholarship Opportunities

The Associated Colleges of America has announced several scholarship opportunities for undergraduate students. The scholarships are as follows:

Carole B. Whitcomb - student must be a junior or senior, have a career goal to work in the not-for-profit sector, have demonstrated financial need, and have a GPA of 3.00.

Citigroup - student must be low-income, minority, first generation, or male, majoring in education, who plans to teach in a public school system upon graduation.

Toni Smith - student must be female with unmet financial need.

McGraw Foundation - student must be freshmen, full-time, 3.0 GPA and major in sciences.

McGraw Foundation Emergency - student must be full-time, experienced a personal emergency, ineligible for other aid from any source and from a middle income family background.

Interested students should send the name of the scholarship they want and why they should be nominated to by November 14.

Journalism and Sex........WHO knew?

I had the opportunity of attending the Drunk Sex or Date Rape event tonight given by attorney and motivational speaker Brett Sokolow. It was great! It really made me think about our society based on the responses from multiple students. I also noticed that a lot of DU athletes were there. Were they required to attend, or did they just want to be enlightened?

Anyways, towards the end of his speech, Sokolow stated that when any sexual case is brought to court, the law requires the 5 W's and the H: Who? What? Where? Why? When? And of course, How?

Wow. I had no idea that this essential element of any news story was also an essential element in applying the law to any sexual case. Pretty cool, huh?

Photo Source:

The Etiquette Dinner and Diversity

For many classes, attending the Etiquette Dinner is mandatory. I went last spring for Dr. Calabrese's class and I enjoyed it very much. Good table manners, actually good manners in general, have been stressed upon my sister and I since we were little girls. The Etiquette Dinner only reinforced how important it is to conduct yourself in business-like situations. The Etiquette Dinner is Thursday, Nov. 13, from 5-7 p.m. in the social hall. Tickets are $15 for DU students. I recommend ALL students go...even if you're accustomed to chewing with your mouth closed.

My question is this: Why does the Etiquette Dinner only cover the basics for American/European style dining??

It seems to me that sushi restaurants are becoming trendier and trendier every day. Business dinners are being held at sushi restaurants more frequently every day. My friend, Liz Rymanowska, is a manager at an LA Tan in Chicago. Her business partners always conduct their meetings at sushi houses in the city.

Coming from an Italian-American family, I'm used to eating with a fork and knife. When it comes to using chopsticks, proper etiquette, or should I say proper technique, is something totally foreign to me. If I go to a sushi house and use chopsticks, it is normal or proper to place an entire piece of sushi in my mouth?? Or, should I stick with the American style and cut the piece of sushi with a fork and knife??

You tell me.

Tae Kwon Do at DU

Did you know that Dominican University offers a Tae-Kwon Do and self defense class every week? Well they do and it's held in the racketball court every Tuesday at 2:20. I got the opportunity to speak with the class's instructor, Conrad Sewinski. Sewinski is a freshman at Dominican from Park Ridge, Ill. Sewinski is patient with his students but maintains a level of discipline essential to any martial arts class. Here's a little background on the class, according to Sensei Conrad himself.

Here are also some photos of Sensei Conrad in action with his class. All are welcome to attend the classes each week.

The resident behind the acting stint...

Junior resident Jon Campbell talks about being the main attraction at the last Resident Student Association meeting in his acting stint playing a foreign student. The video is a follow-up to a Oct. 21st blog post Always entertaining... about how entertaining RSA meetings have been.

See what Jon Campbell has to say...

Do you know where the Career Center is?

It completely surprises me when I talk to some of my friends who are upperclassman and have yet to put together any sort of resume. It is a necessary document to have, especially when you graduate. Not to mention that now is the time we should be building upon our resumes with internships, part-time jobs, activities, volunteer work, etc.

At Dominican we have the wonderful source of the Career Development Center, which I believe every student should use. We pay a large amount of money to go to a private university, so we should all take advantage of the resources we have. However, most students I talk to don't even know where the Career Center is, let alone been down there.

At the Career Center, in the basement of Parmer Hall, you can learn all of the necessary skills to put yourself in a position to get a job after graduation. They can assist you in deciding your major, building a resume and preparing for an interview, just to name a few.

If you would like additional information on the Career Development Center browse their website here.

Diversity at Dominican...Out of Date??

As this is my first posting on diversity at Dominican, I was somewhat dumbfounded as to what exactly to write about. So, being the resourceful journalist that I am, I did a search for "diversity" on Dominican's home page. As I sifted through the results, I payed close attention to the Multicultural Affairs page. Well, well, well....

Let me tell you, much like my findings on SGA, the Multicultural Affairs page is completely out of date. I encourage you to click HERE to see just exactly what I'm talking about.

That's right, it's hosting events as late as September 15, 2007 and as current as March 13, 2008. How are Dominican students, potential students and people interested in DU's multicultural affairs going to be able to get information about CURRENT, as in this school year's opportunities to get involved. Even the page's Special Events portion lists events from the 2007-2008 school year.

This beginning to appear as a trend within DU groups/organizations I've noticed as my short time as a DU blogger. Does anyone else feel this is a potential problem?

Debate on U.S. Military Interventionalism Tonight

A debate on whether or not U.S. military interventions have actually been in the interest of world peace and stability will take place tonight in the Martin Recital Hall at 7 p.m. between Lund-Gill Chair Stephen Kinzer and esteemed author Max Boot.

With everything going on in the world today involving the United States (wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, discussion of military intervention in Iran and border incursions into Pakistan and Syria), these two experts in the field of American military intervention will take these and past events into account and will go head-to-head to decide whether or not we're helping or hurting when we send troops abroad.

If not for the extremely inconvenient timing of my night class, I would be in attendance. However, I urge students to attend this debate, as it takes on even greater significance given the events of this past weekend, when American troops supposedly crossed the Iraq/Syria border and attacked a farm, killing eight alleged "terrorists with links to Al Qaeda." Are we making the problem worse when we feel it necessary to breach the sovereignty of other nations? Or is it for their own good and the good of everyone in the world community? Go to this debate tonight and judge for yourself.

Voting at Dominican

A week from today will be Election Day! As far as voting goes, I was curious if students were able to vote on campus.

"Since the resident halls is not a public area, it would not be a polling place. However, the library would probably be one. Chances are unless you registered Dominican as your permanent address, you could not vote here," said RA Jamie Zwijack.

Math, anyone?

This semester I am enrolled in Math 150. After this semester, my math requirement will be satisfied. However, why do journalism majors even need to take math in the first place? Math and I have had a long, painful history. Ever since first grade I have struggled with it. Personally, instead of taking math, I would rather take classes for my major. I have to put a lot of effort into my math class, and I would rather be putting that effort into a class that will help me with my career. People frequently make the same argument with seminar classes, but I feel those classes are more interesting and relatively easier. Very few people find math enjoyable or easy. I know several other journalism, communications and English majors who are faced with the same problem.

Video Interview

This is my video interview with junior Tiffany Gramarossa. We discussed phone reception at Dominican and how a text-based emergency notification system would work.

Philosophy at DU...

When we were reading Aristotle in my seminar class, my professor asked if any of the students had taken philosophy courses or was a philosophy major. Only one student raised their hand - I'm not sure if he was a Philosophy major or minor - but the fact that he was the only one who had taken some philosophy courses sparked my curiosity.

According to the Undergraduate Bulletin, philosophy is one of the core curriculum requirements. I remember taking a Business Ethics course my freshman year to satisfy the philosophy requirement. I wasn't expecting it to be as worthwhile as it turned out to be. We had a take- home exam for the final, which involved addressing a business ethics issue based on what we had learned in class. I was surprised to actually enjoy doing the assignment. Considering it was the final and I was ready to start my winter break, it was a nice change of pace to have a final that made you think critically, but not feel bored while doing it (and wishing it was the weekend already).

I'm not too surprised that I don't know many who are Philosophy majors or minors at Dominican. The impression I get is that it's not exactly a popular major choice. I may be wrong. Just considering how today's society is all about actively doing something fast and efficiently - philosophy seems to be synonymous with slow - just sitting there thinking critically and who knows how long it may take for a reasonable answer to come out as a result.

I don't think today's technological, fast-paced society gives philosophy a chance to prove itself. I'm sure some think that Aristotle, Socrates, Plato and other philosophers of the past have settled the issue of philosophy. Why do we need philosophers today? And what is the incentive to be a philosopher/study philosophy?

What is the point?

Though I think that philosophy can be a headache-inducing activity because when you think about the big questions - sometimes it's like you're going around in circles. There never is a right answer, it seems, to philosophical questions. But maybe that's what so interesting about philosophy - it makes you think and gives you room to make a conclusion with the knowledge that you can change your mind. My professor for seminar did mention how one ancient Greek philosopher didn't like writing his ideas down because he thought that if they were "set in stone" through writing rather than circulating in his head and told orally...that that would prevent him from changing his mind.

We're so focused on making sure everything is recorded on paper today that this idea reinforces why we do it. We want things set in stone - we want to have a transcript of what someone said so that we have written proof if the person changes their mind in a later speech, for example.

So, I just wanted to know what persuades students at Dominican to decide on philosophy as a major or minor? What do they plan to get out of it? Do they ever find themselves asking the question, "What is the point?"

Monday, October 27, 2008

Buy Mound Bread!

Mound bread. Delicious.

Delicious? Why, yes, it is. Mound bread included a variety of baked good made by the sisters at the Sinsinawa Dominican Mound. Order forms are available to buy cinnamon rolls, apple pie, and of course, bread. Everyone who's had it says it is amazing. Associate Dean of Academic Advising Angela Fraiser says that she "loves Mound bread" and never misses an opportunity to buy it.

The money from the sales goes to help pay for the service learning trip to Montana and South Dakota next spring planned by Kathy Heskin. So go ahead, buy some Mound bread to share with your family!

Wanna Hear Something Scary?

As a part of the CSA Haunted Tours on October 30, the Eco Club will be hosting Scary Storytelling contest. If you want to share a tale of terror email the Eco Club at and let them know. Show up in the Social Hall no later than 8:45 and let the scaring begin.

(Are You Afraid of the Dark?'s Midnight Society, courtesy of Photobucket)

Thumbs Up for Chartwells

I's a shock that I have something good to say about the Chartwells food service here at Dominican. I was shocked myself, so found it necessary to share the brighter side.

This evening I was at the Cyber Cafe right before their 10 p.m. close. There was still a line, but the employees did not seem to be upset at all. The workers actually went out of their way to make sure all of the students were waited upon before closing, as they scanned every ID first and then made the food, so that it could register on time. Not only that, but an employee went out of his way to find one of the students a package of Cesare dressing in the back when he could have simply said "We are all out."

This excellent customer service really surprised me, but I can only wish it is like this every time I go to the Cyber Cafe in the future.

Have Dominican's Admission Standards Risen?

Let's admit it, Dominican isn't the most difficult school to receive admittance to as a senior in high school. I am not knocking myself or the student body by any means, as we are all very intelligent college students bound for success if we so choose, but in the past few years our student body has grown extensively. Our freshman classes have been larger year after year. This makes me question the admittance standards. Has Dominican lowered the standards to admit more students or have we truly done the recruiting to admit the best and the brightest?

I recently spoke with a high school freshman who is very interested in Dominican. She is a honors student, has a high GPA, and both her mother and brother have attended Dominican, yet she has not received an acceptance letter yet and is becoming worried.

Does this mean that our standards really have risen? Is Dominican becoming a more competitive school in the Chicagoland area?

Drama at the Bon Villa
DU's Residence Life started to move students to an off-campus apartment complex: The Bon Villa. The Bon Villa apartments are supposed to be a solution to DU's housing shortage. Hoping the transition would go smoothly, some students are unhappy with the living conditions. DU students are the first residents to occupy the newly refurbished apartments. However, other units are still under construction. How has this affected DU residents?

"They shut our water off three times a week since construction is still going on," said Michelle Behnke, a DU resident at Bon Villa. In addition to that inconvenience, Behnke and her roommate are being forced to give up their cats. The Bon Villa's pet policy allows cats but a $200 non-refundable pet deposit fee is required. So, why do the DU girls have to give up their feline friend??

According to an email from Residence Hall Director, Evy Koutzas, the girls are not allowed to keep a cat because of the policy on animals for residents ON CAMPUS.

Well, that seems unfair. The Bon Villa apartments are NOT Dominican University Property. The apartments allow cats and dogs. Obviously, Behnke and her roommate are not happy campers. This story is still developing...more to come!!!

Tech Center Overload....?

So, I don't know if anyone else has noticed the crowd in the tech center lately but I think it's a little out of control. Almost everytime I go there, almost all the computers are occupied. Last year, it seemed to me that the crowd flocked to the thech center around midterms or at the end of the semester. Why now? Why is it always packed?

I understand that we have new, fancy macs, but they basically do the same job as the older computers. It's great that students are taking advantage of the tech center. My question is, why the all of a sudden swarm?

Open Campus Forum to be Held

According to a post on myDU, Campus Climate will be hosting an "open forum" for students on Wednesday, October 29 at 12:30 p.m. in the Springer Suites. The main topic of the forum will be the growing student body and what is being and will be done to accommodate everyone. The recent hate crimes at the Priory will also be discussed.

It should be interesting to see how many people turn out to this event to voice their opinions. With the student body growing in huge increments every semester and the rapidly dwindling supply of on-campus housing for resident students, students have much to discuss. Forums like these provide students with a free audience of their peers and the administration, of which certain important members will probably attend the forum to hear what students have to say. This could also be an opportunity for commuter students to voice concerns such as parking availability and the limited shuttle service to and from the Green line in Oak Park.

Stay tuned; on Wednesday I'll post an update on the forum.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Trick or Treat in the Res. Halls

Two Resident Assistants, Emily Tegenkamp and Megan Russell, are hoping to get volunteers to assist with their "Trick-or-Treat in the Res. Halls" program. A flier explaining the program was slipped underneath my door, and other residents' doors this past Friday. According to the flier, "this program will allow faculty and staff to bring their children and close friends to trick-or-treat throughout the residence halls."

The two RAs want willing resident students to open their doors and hand out candy to the kids. This is optional and the kids will have student guides who will know which rooms they can go to. Emily Tegenkamp, during the last Monday's Student Government Association meeting, informed others that it won't be kids running around unsupervised within the residence halls.

I think this is a good idea, though I am not planning on taking part in it. I do hope that it works out. I'm wondering how many residents have volunteered to help with this...

You can contact Megan at or Emily at for more information. They're hoping to get a good number of volunteers before Oct. 27th. Since that's tomorrow, I hope they have been successful in gaining volunteers...

Dance Team Video

This video was taken during Midnight Madness on Wednesday, Oct. 22. The first part of the video is the Dominican Dance Team performing at the pep rally. The second part is an interview with Megan Vacarro, who is a member of the team. Michelle Calvert was also interviewed who was watching the performance from the stands.

Rentals in the Res Halls

If all goes well, an automated dvd rental kiosk will be added to the Coughlin Commons in early November. Resident Student Association (RSA) President Jaron Salazar, has been working with Jo Ann Hermanek, Director of the Residence Halls, to make this possible. Currently, RSA is waiting on a few "IT issues" before the contract can be signed with Flix to Go, according to Salazar.

Once the contract is signed and the placement of the machine is decided, students will be able to rent dvds on campus using their credit or debit cards 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week.

"Not only will this be convenient for residents, but it will be a lot cheaper too," Salazar said.


This past weekend, my parents recieved a donation form from Dominican in their mailbox. First of all, I have not even graduated from Dominican yet! I think Dominican has a lot of nerve to send out donation forms to undergraduate students. As students we pay thousands per year to attend Dominican. I think it is one thing to ask an alum for a donation, but a student? I think my parents give Dominican a pretty good donation as it is. Students are taking out loans to pay their tuition. I think it is a little hard to see a donation card coming when you have a student loan to pay your tuition.

Frank Lloyd Wright Races This Morning

Congrats to all who completed the Frank Lloyd Wright Races this morning. According to the DU hompage we had a team of 100 faculty, staff, students, and alumni competing in the race.

I spoke with juniors Zlatan Hodzic and Louis Hernandez who both shared their enjoyment of the race, which they competed in this morning. Hodzic finished 44th in the 10K Run, while Hernandez walked in the 5K.